AgriProtein, the insect farming business, has raised $105 million in equity and debt into its UK holding company from a large, overseas listed corporate financial institution that could not be disclosed.
This is the largest capital raise on record for an insect farming company and is the 18th largest farm tech deal on record, according to AgFunder data.
AgriProtein feeds black soldier flies with municipal waste and sells them as feed for the livestock industry. It has one insect farm in South Africa, and is embarking on the construction of its next generation of farms. “We continue to view the world differently, recognizing the true value of organic waste as a resource,” said Jason Drew, CEO, in a statement.
AgriProtein has three sites in the Middle East, two in Asia and one in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it is constructing generation one (G1) factories, each set to take in 250 tonnes of waste feedstock per day. The first to complete will likely be in Johannesburg。
In a process AgriProtein calls “nutrient recycling”, the company feeds fly larvae on waste coming from municipalities, a local shopping mall, educational institutions, hospitals and food processors. It creates three products, a soil enhancer for crop producers called MagSoil, and two feed products MagOil and MagMeal.
After extracting the recyclables, like plastic, AgriProtein crushes the waste which turns anything organic into a paste. That paste feeds the larvae. Then the company harvests and separates the mature larvae from the MagSoil and processes it into MagOil and MagMeal.
Launched in 2008 by brothers Jason and David Drew, AgriProtein was one of the first companies to start farming flies at any scale. Currently, the aim is to provide a natural and cost-effective alternative to fishmeal, which is widely used in the poultry and fish farming industries. The business will look at replacing other types of animal feed in due course and also produces a crop supplement byproduct.